Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Mark
Pickering, Lisa Marie, Jeffrey Jones and a quicky by both Martin
Landau & Christopher Lee
By: Tim Burton
By now you've
heard the buzz....the plot isn't so hot. If you like the genre
of horror go see this.Your not really expecting Life Is Beautiful
are you? Sleepy Hollow is still yet another fine fairy
tale by the 'King of Tilt' Tim Burton. Can I just say it again?
Horror movies are made up the following plot points:
1. Good guy/hero
2. Bad guy/evil
(usually well endowed in the chestal area.)
townsfolk/family/spouses (these are interchangeable so long as
no one believes good guy/hero at any given point- these
folk are also the 'victim pool')
4. A couple
5. Bit of
8. Love affair
or wild monkey sex 'tween the good guy/hero & wench/heroine
9. Hints that'll
point you to the wrong villain
point you to another wrong villain
is discovered (usually a speech by good guy/hero is performed,
so the slower members of the audience who didn't get it---get
12. Good guy/hero
wench/heroine live happily ever after.
13. Bad guy/evil
guy 's finger, eye, head-- something pops up on screen, leading
you to believe he may just still be alive (= if it makes money
they can make a sequel)
for Horror movie 101. So. It's fun right? I haven't been
this excited about getting to a movie since I heard Kevin Spacey
was gonna be butt ass naked in American Beauty,
and that was for wholly different reasons. In this tale of semi-terror,
you get to add to this simple equation one tall odd chap with
a knack for twisting a tale into a macabre little yarn, Mr. Tim
watch him splash his canvas with dark, nearly surreal, coloring
is always a special treat sensation.
gets a few of the richest soulfull 'eyes' Hollywood' s got. Inserts
a special effect here, a clever word or two there and you get
a Tim Burton Film. Mediocre plot or not...this
is not an ordinary run of the mill day at the chop shop!
I find Tim
Burton a filmatic genius. He plays with reality the way a movie
should, but adds just a bit of maniacal madness. He 'creates'
these three dimensional characters from the writer's script that
simply leap out at you. Each one a separate work of twisted art.
Then the way he and his crew 'paint' all over one of these celluloid
pieces, with a whimsical light hearted darkness that, at least
puts this viewer in perpetual awe. I find him unique and gifted;a
kind of Hans Christian Andersen on acid.
Irving (original author of Sleepy classic) is probably
reeling in his grave right about now, with the changes Burton
and gang have made to his story. Only the knuckley spine of his
'legend' is here. Let's face it, Washington's Sleepy
has been done, it simply had to be "revamped"
if they wanted the Playstation-InSync-body pierced-Mini-Me generationites
to even fathom a ticket purchase. A Hollywood absolutism-at least
Burton lets say lovingly redesigned it.
change? Well, Ichabod Crane who we all know from the animated
Disney version, as that crickety-old-spider-legged-malebitch with
a nerves of liquid goo, is now a young neurotic pretty boy with
a passion for forensics. Burton cast his Tracy, his Hanks, his
DeNiro...little cutie boo Johnny Depp.
is asked to use his "on the edge" crime fighting style
and fancy fandaggled gizmos to assist a little sleepy hollow north
of New York City to catch a nut case that's lobbing off fine citizen's
heads left and right.
and immediately suspects a conspiracy a foot, a head and a horseman.
As he is a man of science he does not believe the townsfolks'
tale of the evil headless horseman who rides like an evil apparition
claiming a head off one toensman per evening.
That is until
Ichabod nearly pees his pantaloons as he himself comes face to
neck cavity with the long deceased villain.
is a Hessian warrior, that rather enjoyed all his pillaging and
slaughtering till the descendants of Sleepy Hollow chopped his
head off and threw him in his lonely grave twenty years ago...now
it seems, he has a straw like hair across his ass for revenge.
Horseman is played by a nearly translusent Christopher Walken.
Chris is peculiar without the pointy teeth his character sports,
now he's plain old 'Star of your nightmares' creepy. Hmm, odd
as he is, I just love this guy! When I am blue I pop in a really
bad movie called Homeboy just for his musical number
in the middle. Then suddenly the blues go away and birds tweet
Ricci is just beautiful, as white witch and stealer of men's um...hearts,
Katrina Van Tassel. Darkness and grays become her. Ricci's big
soulful eyes when paired up with Depp's deep soulful eyes are
like two soulful eyed people in a scene being extremely soulful.
from the Black Adder series (and tons of other things)
is Ricci's Stepmother, Lady Van Tassel. Jeffrey Jones from Beetlejuice
is a great weasely wimp, Reverend Steenwyck . Plus numerous others
who really are just perfectly cast and orchestrated.
top-notch director of photography, Emmanual Lubeski, went for
an old fashioned almost black and white feel in Sleepy.
When the blood flows in crimson it's wonderfully cheesy, with
just a hint of B. Like the old Hammer Films -a personal
fave. If you have never seen a Hammer you must find one. They
usually starred Christopher Lee (who has an honorary appearance
in Sleepy), Christopher Plummer (wonderful Amanda's daddy) and
Peter Cushing . They had a budget of about 2000.00 per film and
were some of the neatest horror films produced out of England.
Lot's of vampires and big breasted wenches, in a seedy little
town where everyone seems guilty of well, something.
Ford Coppola helped produce. Did you know he's cheezy horror movie
writer/director from long ago? Ever hear of Dementia 13
(1962) ? That's Mr. Coppola. Just plain bizarre. Also, check out
this Hammer site...they are so kitchy-kool babe! The Hammer Grave
Recommendation: Pumpkin Pie with hot upstate cider.